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Duty and breach in a Florida motorcycle accident

A few weeks ago, this space very briefly discussed the most common form of lawsuit to recover compensation for a motorcycle accident in Florida. The theory most often used is that of negligence. We listed the various elements of such cases, which include duty, breach, causation and injury or damage. This week, we will take a closer look at the elements of duty and breach.

When a court speaks of 'duty' it is generally referring to a legal concept where two individuals or an individual and a group have a relationship that gives rise to the expectation that those parties will act or refrain from acting in certain ways. In terms of motorcycle accidents, we will usually look at the relationship between a driver and other people utilizing the roadways at the same time.

Generally speaking, when a person decides to drive a vehicle on public roads, he or she takes on a duty to others on the road to act responsibly. Without this implied duty, the efficient movement of people and vehicles by ground travel would become impossible. So, what does this duty entail? The law uses what is known as an 'objective' standard in most negligence cases. This means that the individual in question is expected to act like a reasonable person would in the same situation. This reasonable person is a hypothetical individual and does not necessarily have the same characteristics and thoughts as the allegedly negligent person.

While there are certain activities that may be considered per se negligence, such as driving drunk, or engaging in other inherently risky behavior such failing to yield due to texting and driving, many cases will turn on the specific facts involved in the accident. Given the potentially catastrophic consequences of motorcycle accidents, victims of them may wish to consider contacting an experienced attorney to explore legal options for compensation.

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